Happy Tuesday! Wow, I have been so busy the past few days and have another killer week ahead of me. That being said, I REALLY wanted to linkup with Jessica Joy and Jill for #DishTheFit, but did not have the time to really carve out the best post for it. This week’s optional topic is “Conversations with NON-FITNESS Enthusiasts“. What I did do was go back through my archives and found the following post about “fitness motivation”. Now, it may not be along the lines of what the rest of our #FitFam will be talking about today, but I think that it’s an important element of dealing with newbies or non-fitness folks in a social media world filled with fitness enthusiasts. What I am talking about in this post is the type of messages the fitness community can send out that may hinder any chance of motivating the non-enthusiast population.
I would love to hear thoughts and feelings about this topic.
Fitness Motivation: What Works, What Doesn’t.
Motivation: The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. As defined, motivation, can be twisted and turned any which way to suit the person who is doing the “motivating”. Think back to a time when you were motivated to make a decision: What made you change your attitude about something? Were negative or positive messages used to help you make your decision? When it comes to fitness motivation, what kinds of messages help (or harm) you the most?Happy Monday! I hope that you all had a great holiday and/or holidays last week! So, this week is the end of the road for 2014. January 1st is a clean slate for many, many people, and this year will be no different – I am sure of it! Being that it is the beginning of a new year (and a time when people are looking to make positive changes)there is no end to the messages and advertising that will be thrown our way regarding self help However, not all of the messages that will be delivered over the next week will be conveyed with the tactful sensitivity they should be.
The above photo really upset me when I saw it. Not only did this post make me really upset, it actually made me “unfollow” this account on Instagram. This account labeled this photo as “fitness humor” while trying to sell their product which promotes weight loss. I guess I probably wouldn’t have found this post as offensive if I hadn’t seen this one from the same account just days earlier:
This is NOT okay! I mean, maybe I am being overly sensitive, but I find this incredibly insenstive on SO many levels. Do I think that the company behind these posts are bad people? No, I’m not saying that. However, I do think that you have to be very careful how you choose to “motivate” people. See, I was always taught (and admittedly, I haven’t always FOLLOWED this mantra) “you can’t build yourself up by tearing others down.”
I work with people to make them healthy above and beyond any other benefit. In fact, when I became a certified personal trainer I agreed to a code of ethics which places clients health, safety, and privacy first. Never, anywhere in my training for any certification I hold, was I encouraged to belittle another person as a form of motivation. I guess that is why I found these posts to be so offensive. These messages are everywhere and, I feel, any motivation being pulled out of them is from the attitude of shaming they promote. It’s no secret that we need an attitude makeover as a society, because we all spend too much time comparing ourselves to others, ripping ourselves apart, and feeling like we’re not good enough. How can you blame us when messages like these are thrown our way all day, every single day?!
Making another person feel badly about what they look like and who they are is NEVER going to be the correct way to motivate them to feel better about themselves. Period. The issue of obesity is just part of this. We’re told day in and day out what is beautiful, attractive, and acceptable whether it’s our body type, race, gender, or any other characteristic of ourselves. I hope that one day those of us out there trying to “help” others better themselves focus on all the things that are great about you as a motivation to take care of yourself, not as a way to bully you into finding yourself unacceptable so you’ll make changes.
Again, this issue is SO much bigger (pardon the pun) than the surface I am scratching, but change comes from within each of us. One person at a time, we can fight back and start to define beauty, acceptance and most importantly HEALTH the way it should be defined. To hell with what a lingerie company says is sexy or how a weight loss supplement company tells you is how you should look; they don’t get to decide how you feel about yourself. Only one person is in charge of you, and that’s you!
I am wishing everyone out there a happy, healthy, and empowering 2015. Live without limits and remember, above all else, you’re amazing!
Do you ever see “fitness motivation” memes or posts that really “grind your gears”? Do you think people should take them with a grain of salt or do you think they really can be harmful and hurtful (regardless of their intention)? Join the conversation with Jessica and Jill and #DishTheFit!